Pay Up, Mister!
When someone does damage to another person, the Torah lists 5 types of payments for which he is responsible.
To further explain…it’s time for a Shazak Scenario:
Dr. Sam Surjenovitch, a world famous heart surgeon, and Dan Dishvasser, a not-very-famous dishwasher both work at Mount Sinai Hospital (not located on Mount Sinai). And then… Oh no! The elevator broke. So, Sam and Dan are both using the stairs. Suddenly, just for kicks, Mr. Pusher, known to be a pushy sort of fellow, kicks and pushes both Sam and Dan down the stairs. KICK! OUCH! KICK! OUCH!
Quicker than you can say, “call 9-11!,” Sam and Dan are taken to the emergency room at that very hospital, which, lucky for them, was just a few feet away.
The x-ray technician took the x-rays and approached them with the news.
“Dr. Surjenovitch, I have good news and bad news.”
“Oh no. Please tell us the bad news first!”
“Due to your falls, both of you broke your wrists. You’ll be wearing casts for the next five weeks.”
“And then…. After the five weeks, what will be? Back to surgery… right? Surgery? I can’t hear you, Mr. Shnouzer. Pleaaaase, answer me!”
“No, Dr. Surjenovitch. I am sorry to inform you that your career as a top-notch surgeon is over.”
“And what about me? How about my dishwashing career?”
“Mr. Dishvasser, your dishwashing-days are history. You’ll need to find a different job – but lifting anything heavy is out of the question!
“Oh no! My dishwashing days are over… finished, kaput, finitio!
“So technically speaking, Mr. Professional Technician,” asked Dr Sam. “If we both lost our careers, what’s the good news?”
“The good news is… our doctors here at Mount Sinai hospital can set the cast for both of you right now… and we accept credit cards.”
No doubt about it, Dr. Sam and Mr. Dan are devastated.
“Oy vey, what are we going to do now?” Mr. Dan asked Dr. Sam.
“Well, I have a friend, Mr. Oliver Oogerkah who owns a huge cucumber field,” answered Dr. Sam. “And he’s looking to hire security guards. The pay is not great, just 40 Shekels a week, but it’s better than nothing. We can apply at the Shomer Kishui’im agency.”
“Sounds like a plan… After all, we don’t need to use our hands to watch cucumbers.”
Exactly one week after their accident, Mr. Oliver Oogerkah, CEO of Shomer Kishuim, hired Dr. Sam and Mr. Dan to watch his precious cucumbers.
Now fast forward five weeks. It’s time for justice. Dr. Sam and Mr. Dan summoned Mr. Pusher to a Beis Din, a Jewish court of law.
After much careful deliberation…
“Order in the court! And now the verdict.”
Everyone in the courtroom is soooo quiet, you could hear a pin drop, as the Av-Beis Din, the head judge, spoke:
“Mr. Pusher is hereby responsible to pay for the Big Five – Nezek, Tza’ar, Ripui, Sheves and Boshes.
1) Nezek – Damage:
“Dr. Sam Surjenovitch, your lucrative surgery career is over. Mr. Pusher owes you a total of 42,421 Shekels. Mr. Dan Dishvasher, no longer can you wash dishes, so Mr. Pusher is hereby required to pay you a total of 1,633 Shekels.”
2) Tza’ar – Pain:
“It is extremely hard to put a Shekel amount to pay for your excruciating suffering, anguish and pain. But payment is a must. For that, our esteemed Sages have instituted a pain-suffering formula, which estimates how much a person would accept to willingly suffer the pain of a broken wrist.
Based on this pain-suffering formula, Mr. Pusher is hereby required to pay the same amount to both of you – 613 Shekels.
3) Ripui – Healing:
“Mr. Pusher is obligated to pay for all medical expenses – from start to finish. Dr. Sam and Mr. Dan, once you have submitted all the medical bills, the exact amount will be given.”
4) Sheves – Worker’s Compensation:
“It took Dr. Sam and Mr. Dan one week until they found their new “Cucumber Security Guard” jobs at 40 Shekels per week, so Mr. Pusher is hereby required to pay each of them 40 Shekels.”
5) Boshes – Embarrassment:
“Finally, Mr. Pusher is hereby required to pay for the humiliation caused to Mr. Dan and Dr. Sam. Mr. Dan should be paid 1,000 Shekels for his embarrassment – walking around with a cast on the wrist. And Dr. Sam, you, as a famous surgeon, will be paid double the amount… 2,000 Shekels.”
Five types of damages sure add up to a lot of money. No doubt about it, Mr. Pusher learned his lesson and will never be pushy again.
But, besides for paying these many fees and bills, Mr. Pusher must apologize to Dan and Sam.
“I’m truly sorry for pushing you down the stairs. I don’t know what came over me! Please, please forgive me… I’m asking you from the bottom of my heart. I will never do anything like this again!”
Only after Dan and Sam forgive him, does HaShem forgive him, too.